Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Blackberry Upside Down Cake Recipe


When a wine is described as "jammy" I always think of blackberries. Rich, ripe, fruity flavors so intense they almost taste more cooked than fresh. Blackberries, when fully ripe and sweet, not sour, taste like jam to me. Jammy also means "lucky" according to an Australian English dictionary I recently consulted. I think one slice of this cake will make you feel very lucky indeed! I certainly feel lucky to have gotten the berries from my friend Alton who brought them back from his mountain cabin hideaway, Shadow Woods.

I'm assuming since you are visiting this site, that you probably use the internet to find recipes. I sure do. One thing I particularly find useful are the reader comments. For example the recipes on Epicurious often have suggestions from readers on changes and improvements they have made to the posted recipes. Sometimes their suggestions make sense, though not always.

This recipe started out as one I found online, but based on reader comments, a little experimenting, and ultimately my own experience I made it my own. How different is it from the original? My version has more berries on top, and addition of baking powder and lemon peel plus some changes to the orignial techniques and even the pan size. The result is a rich buttery though not overly sweet cake with a gooey topping of blackberries on top. You could serve it for dessert or breakfast. It's the kind of cake that is good on it's own or with a dollop of creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Blackberry Upside Down Cake
8 servings

Ingredients

3 cups fresh blackberries
1 Tablespoon sugar

1/2 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teasponn grated lemon peel
1/2 cup buttermilk (be sure to shake the container before pouring)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line bottom of a 9 in non-stick cake pan with a sheet of parchment paper (cut to fit the bottom of the pan)then spray with cooking oil. Dust with flour, dumping out excess. Sprinkle 1 T of sugar in pan and shake to distribute evenly (use 2 T of sugar if your berries are not sweet). Arrange blackberries in a single layer in cake pan. Place pan with blackberries in oven for 5 minutes to thoroughly warm the berries.

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Beat together butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, vanilla and lemon peel and mix until just incorporated. Add buttermilk, mixing at low speed until well incorporated, then add flour and mix at low speed until just combined.

Spoon batter evenly over berries and all the way to the edge of the pan with a rubber spatula, smoothing the surface, and bake in middle of oven until top is golden and a tester comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge of pan, then invert a large plate over pan and, using pot holders to hold plate and pan together tightly, flip cake onto plate. Peel off parchment from cake if it sticks (mine stuck to the pan, not the cake). Serve cake warm or cool.

Enjoy!